Blogs about simulations and virtual reality

Fossil of Tribrachidium heraldicum

An article published in the journal “Science Advances” describes a computer simulation carried out to better understand how to eat the Tribrachidium Heraldicum (photo ©Aleksey Nagovitsyn), a creature that lived about 555 million years ago. The results reveal that in such an ancient time there was already a complex ecosystem formed by the first complex organisms greater than previously thought.

Simulation of the structure and motion of a phosphoglycerate kinase protein (Image courtesy Thomas Splettstoesser; all rights reserved)

An article published in the journal “Nature Physics” describes the results obtained with a series of simulations conducted using supercomputers at the Department of Energy of the USA’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The object of these sophisticated simulations were proteins to understand their motion, a key element in the functional, structural and regulatory roles they have in living organisms.

EAGLE image of the simulation of the history of a galaxy with some zooming (Image courtesy EAGLE project. All rights reserved)

A team of astronomers from the Dutch University of Leiden and the British one of Durham created a simulation of the universe called EAGLE (Evolution and Assembly of Galaxies and their Environments). This project is run by the Virgo Consortium which has exactly the aim to produce cosmological simulations using supercomputers. The result, published in the January 2015 edition of the journal “Monthly Notices from the Royal Astronomical Society”, reproduces faithfully the evolution of the galaxies from a very uniform starting point.

Simulation of a galaxy cluster within Illustris (Image courtesy Illustris collaboration. All rights reserved)

A group of researchers coordinated by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) published in the journal “Nature” the results of the most sophisticated simulation of the universe ever produced. It’s Illustris, a project that led to the creation of a model to faithfully reproduce the evolution of the universe from 12 million years after the Big Bang to the present day.

Between June 2010 and November 2011, the Mars500 mission simulated a journey to Mars, a brief exploration of the red planet and the return to Earth. This experiment was carried out by Moscow’s Institute of Biomedical Problems (IBMP) in collaboration with ESA (European Space Agency). It’s an international collaboration and now some results of the analysis of the virtual astronauts’ health have been published by the American National Academy of Sciences.